Call for action: “10.000 hours of passion for IT”

At CIO CITY 2012, Vice President and European Commissioner Neelie Kroes invited the European IT community to join the ‘Grand Coalition for ICT jobs’. The European Commission acknowledges that the ICT skills gap cannot be fixed without collective action. Stakeholders will be encouraged to take action if they see that others are too. Hence stakeholders are invited to make a pledge on what they will do to address the ICT skills gap.

CIONET has been an active contributor since the very beginning of the partnership. This has resulted in identifying where and how CIONET and its members can best make use of what we can offer. The resulting pledge was presented at the international advisory board meeting at CIO CITY 2013. The vast majority of the participants have committed their support to the CIONET pledge:

“CIONET is a pan-European community with 4.000 members in 10 countries working for a wide range of organizations across different market segments. What they have in common is that they are all senior executives, i.e. CIO, IT director or IT leader role with a great experience and understanding what value IT can bring. Furthermore, they share a passion for Information Technology. CIONET will harness this passion and bring it to the potential future workforce. We aim to connect our members and their own staff to local schools and universities and have them share their own personal experience through storytelling. This can be in the classroom, targeted events (e.g. e-Skills week or “Girls in IT” day) or in their own organization. These sessions are localized and take into account the local culture and circumstances. At the same time they offer an opportunity to present a pan-European message. By offering just a couple of hours of their time CIONET members can together offer up to 10.000 hours of passion for IT”.

The CIONET pledge was presented together with the European CIO of the Year award winners on June 4, 2013 (from left to right: Marcello Cordioli, Luc Verbist, Pieter Schoehuijs, Bassim Haj, Neelie Kroes, Gerry Pennel, Leon He)

The pledge was presented to Commissioner Kroes at CIO CITY 2013. Marcello Cordioli, 
CIO of Permasteelisa (Italy), presented a personal call for action to support this pledge. Her reaction:

“I particularly like your pledge because it involves passion – and lots of it. Your analysis is spot on. Today, there are many rational arguments for choosing an ICT career – but let’s face it, people aren’t always rational. Did you choose your career after carefully weighing up the pros and cons? I’m not sure I did. Most people react more to intuition, emotion and passion. So go out there and share your personal experience! Make the image of ICT more human to those still at school. And you can really make a difference”

We call upon all CIONET members to donate a couple of hours of your time and of your team. Please follow this link if you are willing to present at a local school or university near you. Over the next couple of months we will gather the volunteers and coordinate with the European Commission and local representative organizations to allow match-making. For more information, please contact

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